Saturday, July 23, 2011

Column V2.14 - Murfreesboro, How do you do?

Winding down our tragic tale of woe, 2004 was a year to go in the record books. February was when NO-CS decided to move me to the South Campus and remove me from Tech Service. After 23 years of employment at Delta, it was also when I decided to put out some feelers about working for someone else. In the grand scope of things, there is only so much one can take before it’s time to move on. We had seen our company disintegrated and our brand taken over by people who just did not have what it took to manage it properly. It was pretty traumatic for those of us who actually gave a flip. Then came the huge hammer. In October, it was announced that Black & Decker had bought Porter-Cable/Delta from Pentair. This was for sure one of those Good News-Bad News kind of deals. Good News in that B&D had way more $$$ to spend on the brands; Bad News in that a purchase like this usually results in a round of layoffs… and there I sat, in a ‘Training manager’ position…more often than not, one of the first to be shown the door when the beancounters look for heads to cut.
What to do, what to do?…well, what I did was land another position over in Middle Tennessee with Porter-Cable/Delta’s main competitor. I could not have written a better fit than this was. It was doing just what I had been doing for 23 years. This move is what brought us to Murfreesboro. Unfortunately, in the long run, it did not work out, but we are still here. The area has become our home and until God changes that, here we will remain.
Obviously, much happened after I left Delta. Sorry to say, the product line was trimmed, cut and almost disappeared. For instance, in 1967, Delta (then Rockwell) invented the first Motorized Miter Box. At the time of the purchase by Black & Decker in 2004, Delta had about 10-15 miter saws in their offering. By 2011, when Black & Decker sold the Delta brand (which was the catalyst for this series of articles in the first place), there were NO miter saws in Delta’s catalog. Can you believe it? - not one.
As I said, B&D sold the Delta brand and a new group has a chance to restore a once market-leading brand to its proper place. I wish them all the best. In fact, I am doing some consulting work for them already. It seems that I have a better set of Historical files than they do, so customers looking for information on their older tools are being sent my way… Only God knows where this could lead. Maybe somewhere…maybe nowhere. He’s the Boss.

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